Living the simple life

I am Goth by nature, a carer by choice and a crafter by habit. living the Old Style way, spending less and making what I can myself. I follow Money Saving Expert and NYK forum avidly and am working to be debt free.

I shop wisely as every penny counts, my stock cupboard is my solution to any problem.

My home is full of craft stuff and I love making things for my grandson Michael who is the reason I get up everyday. My kids are the best in the world and I thank them for being there for me and John

Friday, 13 December 2013

Labours of love for both my boys

My boys quilt is finished at last, all ready to wrap. it was a labour of love and my heart went into every stitch. He loves a nice blanket so hope fully this will be his new favourite. Snapped a pic of him in his Mummys hat reading his school book.



Am looking forward to a peaceful Christmas with lots of pennypinching tricks up my sleeve. Also managed to finish this for my darling son and his wife, hoping they love it as much as everyone else does.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

In black and white

I have just finished a throw for my son and his wifes new home. A couple of my friends had done this pattern and I rather liked it so gathered together the yarn from my stash and bought an extra ball of white and I was away. I am really pleased with the effect  and am now looking through the bags for some green to do one for my daughter.
I had a stall at a charity craft fair on Monday at cafe Logo's in Salford. Sadly not many people came throughthe door but I sold a doll - the cream Victorian girl in the photo - and had a lovely time with my friend tracy and all the lovely stall holders and organisers. I also had the best cup of carrot and lentil soup I have ever tasted for £1.'When life throws you lemons you make lemonade' as they say. It was lovely to get out for a few hours and be in good company

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

I got by with a little help from my friends

Here is my little cotton rabbit, she is so beautiful - Alpaca body and Patons cotton plus a little basic 4 ply. I think I may make a couple more as gifts. All the yarn was gifted by 2 of my dear friends which makes her all the more special.

Have emptied my big freezer and re-organised ready for Christmas. Next stop is an order for approved foods so the larder is full. I bought, cooked and sliced 2 legs of lamb and a huge turkey leg so thats various meals including Christmas dinner. Roast spuds will be done and frozen too, they taste so much better cooked twice. I just cool them before freezing then chuck them in the oven on the day and they are crispy and light as a feather.

Have made lots of presents already and Dgs has \his quilt which just needs binding. Have some frames to fill with crafty goodness but have put something away for Hubbys and can't for the life of me remember where the heck I put it. 

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Back home and getting set for winter.

I consider myself lucky that I have never been abroad - strange thought - no, because people seem to fall in love with places and I would not be able to go back on my budget. So I fell in love with the North East of England!
This was our main destination Beamish Musuem. We booked a bargain motel deal, packed our lunch and nibbles and headed North. Only minor glitch with hubbys health on the way and we were soon settled in our room.

We had a drive round the first evening to see where the museum was, picked up a fish and a portion of chips between us and settled down for the night. Of course I had pen and paper with me plus a bag of yarn and a hook so plenty to do while hubby played patience, read or snoozed.

Next day we went straight to Beamish as it opened at 10 am and Hubs slept late. Had our breakfast from what we had brought with us and planned to eat out there. We certainly were not disappointed- first thing the ticket is valid for a year and we only paid for Hubby as I was pushing his chair. Secondly the transport staff were very kind and not once did they give us that 'Oh no we have to trundle this bloke back on the wheelchair lift and bugger about again' Thirdly we had a yummy O/S lunch of mince pie, mushy peas, swede and little roast potatoes, that set us up for the rest of the day. The main thing, though, was the whole Beamish experience, we stepped back in time but much of the stuff was still in use in our lifetime, it was living history to us in the true sense of the word.

The whole of the North east is populated by people who are generous of spirit, who dont ignore wheelchairs and actually help when I get me wheels stuck, open doors and kindly move out of the way.
We revisited the Angel as I lost my photo's of her from our last visit. I find it quite the most moving thing to see, mind you I also love wind turbines so it may just be me!

The next day we nipped into Durham for a good breakfast then  went to a railway museum, did a detour through the Yorkshire dales rather than use the motorway and stopped in some lovely places including a chocolate factory and a little town called Richmond, which was lovely. We drove along side the Pennine way and was pleased and suprised to find public toilets everywhere - Britain take note, it is possible to have clean public toilets open for use right through the day, even till 6pm or possibly later. Manchester Tameside and Cheshire city councils its possible to have public toilets that are actually open and not up for sale or locked permanently !!!!






 

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Just passing by

I really must get myself blogging more often, its lack of inspiration mostly, though I do get ideas when I am no where near the lappy.

Had a near tragedy last night, my sewing machine went clunk and stopped working. It is many years old and cost me £10 plus a Jean Greenhowe Victorian knitted doll so I havent done too badly out of it. I decided there was nothing to lose in taking it apart so set to with my trusty WD40. I cleaned all the interior gubbins and left it till this morning to make a decision. I am very happy to report it now works again !!!! Am in the midst of making a quilt, however it looks patchwork but is really printed fabric. I bought a Tesco quilt cover for £1.50  and a valance for the same thinking I would make myself a pretty double quilt cover from them but it was begging   to be quilted. Just have to do the edging  and its done.

Here is one of my many makes this month, its a gift for a dear friend and really took no time at all. However I have decided I have to be careful how much knitting I do as my arthur-itis doesnt like it at all. So small projects only. I have been churning out my Christmas charity makes and am all but finished for this year. I say that and suddenly see something that catches my eye...Pinterest...and have to start making again.

Have been very careful with our pennies this last month or so and John and I have decided to have another break in Newcastle. We have to grab every opportunity as we both can see he wont be fit to travel for much longer. So this week am using up the contents of the freezers so that when I get back I can start preparing for Christmas before meat gets too expensive. That way I can organise and pre-cook meals and pack the freezers properly.

We are going to Beamish museum which is the main focus of the trip and I am really looking forward to seeing the place. Bonus is I get in free as Johns carer so just £17.50 which is an awful lot to me so hope you get a lot for your money.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Sadness at Ginny towers

My boy asleep, sadly he has gone to chase butterflies in heaven now. He is greatly missed and its very quiet here now. Thanks to an irresponsible pitbull owner he died very quickly on the 9th of August.


On to better things, here are my brooches I made from felt displayed on a stand that I found in a charity shop for £3. My darling grandson is doing well and is off to France to see his other Grandad, he loves to fly and will ove France. Hubby is sleepy a lot now but Im keeping busy although somedays I get bored. I soon find something to do, pinterest and Ravelry can waste hours.




Friday, 21 June 2013

Sunshine and showers

Success - I have courgettes! After the last couple of disastrous years growing this year is slow but much more successful.
The greenhouses have been worth their weight in gold and well worth the investment. I even have a couple of cucumber plants that may or not produce something. It doesnt really matter they joy I feel in getting this far makes my heart sing. Soft fruit seems to be 
doing very well even the 5 year olds redcurrant bush that has sat there bald of fruit has come into its own. Last year I got 3 strings of berries and was happy, this year its loaded to the hilt. I think it cost 99p from Lidl so quite a bargain. I also managed to make a bin full of compost which I have been using as a base for all my plantings. 

Michael has taken to gardening and was overjoyed to find he can work Grandads hosepipe. Unfortunatley he turned it round just after this and sprayed himself full in the face - the look of shock and the slow motioned affect it caused in all 3 of us was worthy of Tom and Jerry. It didnt put him off though. You can just see his Cosy Coupe car in the shot, his pride and joy and our best investment ever, he plays with them at his playgroups but to have one all to himself was a dream come true. 

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

A month of busyness and then peacefulness.

April wore me out then re-charged my batteries. I spent lots of time starting crafty things, finishing craft things, stocking up the cupboards and then managed to go away for a few days. Jenni, Anthony and Michael took off for Spain on a bargain holiday so I managed to book us a break in Lincolnshire too.

Whilst they were away Michael had his 3rd birthday so we saved his pressies till we got back and here in all its glory is the doggy cushion I made him
 I was very pleased with the outcome  but decided the crochet was too open to stuff as it was and needed a dog shaped cushion pad making, which was quite easy if a little fiddly. On opening his parcel he gave the dog a big hug and looked amazed at it with a big grin on his face - perfect result!

Tuesday, 5 March 2013


I made this very special blanket this week for Reubens Retreat a very special place for children. Reuben took on holiday in Devon and was found to have a brain tumour, he died a matter of days later, To help then get through the day his parents decided to fundraise and build the retreat in his memory.. My little donation is the blanket, the first of several I hope.  http://www.reubensretreat.org/


Sunday, 17 February 2013

February plotting...

This weeks haul from Approved Foods has filled my cupboards to the brim and my heart with joy. I love getting parcels and have been lucky this year as I have received lots of lovely things. The AF order was to finish off my stocking up. I spent £16 plus a fiver postage and am very happy with what I bought. After the cakes I have been buying Hubby from the market shop I decided that although they are only 50 -75p each there were barely 4 good slices in them so got some very nice madeira and double choc muffin mixes in this batch. Also wrap kits, rice, bran flakes and white beans which worked out very cheap. My son buys belvita breakfast biscuits (when they are on offer) and drinking chocolate as he avoids caffeine, I got a large pack of both for 99p each. The powdered milk is a bonus as we have started using it for Hubbys porridge and baking as I cannot carry huge bottles of milk.

Hubby seems to be sleeping a lot as the pain goes away for a little while or rather he is sleeping a few hours at a time a lot. This means I can potter about keeping my brain and my crochet hook busy. Here are some muffins I made him last week with ys mincemeat in that Jenni got me from work. It was luxury mincemeat with cranberries and orange in. I made twice the mix and got the 6 large muffins and 30 tiny one for my little man.

These are 2 of my latest projects which I am hoping someone will love next Christmas. Since these I have made 4 more blankets and am sewing up a clown my Mum knitted - she sort of follows the pattern and I have to cobble them together into what they are supposed to be! To be realistic she is 82 and has never really been a knitter, I got my talent from her late sister somehow,